It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read the proverbial writing on the wall. Which is why I can write about Reggie Bush’s non-future with the Miami Dolphins. While one of the local beat writers is saying that his inside sources are confirming that, fans only need to look at the teams structure and Bush’s productivity to realize that moving beyond 2012 is not in the cards.
Armando Salguero of the Herald is reporting to no one’s surprise that the Dolphins have had no talks with Bush thus far. He uses the term “significant talks” but knowing the history of Jeff Ireland, I would say it’s more or less a situation like “here is what we are thinking, take it or leave it”. Bush will be a free agent after the season and honestly, that’s not a bad thing.
The Dolphins will have upwards of 60 million dollars to spend in free agency this off-season. While fans would love to see them spend all of it, they will spend a large portion of it. Whether Jeff Ireland is the guy calling the shots in free agency remains to be seen but if he is here, it’s likely Bush will not be.
Bush’s production this year has been erratic. After a strong start at the beginning of the season Bush has trailed off. While he has still been able to break a long run or a defenders leg when he misses a tackle, the truth is Bush hasn’t been the same since his injury against the Jets in week 3.
Bush still does far too much “dancing” behind the line of scrimmage. He is fast without question but can’t seem to hit a hole when it’s open opting instead to try and make a larger gain than the three or four yards that may be available with a quick burst. Since the Dolphins came off their bye week, Bush has seen almost a 50% share of the workload with second year runner Daniel Thomas.
While neither back has proven better than the other, Thomas has shown lately that he can be as effective in many of the same situations. Given the fact that Lamar Miller is sitting in the wings and Marcus Thigpen has been very good on special teams returns, Bush is suddenly becoming the odd man out. For the future.
Somewhere lost in this season as well is the fact that Bush is no longer a vocal leader on the sidelines or on the field. I won’t take a guess to know what he is like in the locker room but I have to assume that he brings some leadership. The issue is we don’t see that on the field of play. The Dolphins need leaders as much as playmakers and while Bush is a potential game-changer, his bursts are becoming fewer and fewer and far between.
Many fans will not like watching Bush leave Miami in free agency and many more will throw bricks their monitors if he ends up playing for a division rival, however the Dolphins really don’t need Reggie Bush. His production is replaceable and in this style of offense, he really isn’t being used effectively on every series…blame Bush or blame OC Mike Sherman.
The off-season for the Dolphins this year is going to be a tough one. Jake Long, Cameron Wake, Reggie Bush, Randy Starks, Brian Hartline, Sean Smith, Jimmy Wilson, Anthony Fasano, Brandon Fields, Matt Moore, Lydon Murtha, and Chris Clemons, will all be free agents. A lot of discussion surrounds Jake Long and Sean Smith. Brian Hartline has played very well this year and his connection with Ryan Tannehill will likely net him a new Dolphins contract.
While most will say that Randy Starks is must sign, and he is, don’t discount the Dolphins working out a deal with Matt Moore to stay in Miami as the back-up. Moore is well respected by his teammates and a shoulder for Ryan Tannehill. Behind the two of them is Pat Devlin who may not be read for the number 2 role just yet.
When I look at the free agent list, Starks, Hartline, Fields, Moore, and Jimmy Wilson are the five players I get signed early. Wilson has shown some progression and is young enough to not only develop further but also cheaper. The next round of players would be Sean Smith and Chris Clemons but both need to show a lot more down the stretch. The Dolphins could very well be starting two new corners come 2013. Regardless, Reggie Bush isn’t on my list as a must have player unless he tests the free agent market and comes back as a cheap addition.
I don’t know if Reggie Bush’s mental make-up would bring him back to Miami on a cheaper deal. So for now, I have to assume that he will in deed by gone. He may be a fan favorite but that doesn’t secure him a future with the Dolphins.